Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Don James McLaughlin

On Tuesday, September 20 The University of Pennsylvania English Department selected Don James McLaughlin (Villanova Grad English Class of 2009) as the winner of its annual William Patrick Day essay contest. This was a contest in which any grad student can submit a piece of writing completed in the last year. Two professors then judge the submissions anonymously. McLaughlin's piece is part of his dissertation--tentatively titled "Color-Phobia: Rabies, Race Prejudice, and the Mad Cry of Analogy in U.S. Antislavery Print Culture."

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lydia Browning Welcomes New Baby

Congratulations to class of 2014 Graduate English alum Lydia Browning and her husband, Zachary, who just welcomed their baby girl. Her name is suitably literary: Josephine May Browning. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ashey Esposito

We recently received the following update from one of our alumni, Ashley Esposito, who graduated in December of 2013:

This coming August I will begin as the Collection Development and Assessment Librarian at Shippensburg University (a tenure-track, faculty position). Since I finished my Villanova degree last summer, I will be able to enter at the Assistant Professor level. 
I'm not sure if Lauren mentioned it to you, but she was kind enough to serve as one of my references. I just wanted to thank you and the graduate English department for everything you've done. I know that I couldn't have attained this goal without the additional credentials afforded by your program.

I also strongly believe (though I couldn't have known at the time) that not getting the Falvey position worked out for the best, since this is really an excellent opportunity for me and will certainly set me on a career path to grow professionally and possibly even become a library administrator at the academic level. I hope to enter a doctoral program within a few years, this one likely an Ed.D. or something that will focus on my career goals.
We wish Ashley well in her new job!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Don James McLaughlin Wins UPenn Teaching Award

This year, Villanova Master's alumnus Don James McLaughlin ('09) won The Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by Graduate Students at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is pursuing doctoral studies in English.

Friday, February 15, 2013

English Grad Alum Lands New Library Internship

Don't be surprised if you see a new face in the library this semester. Alexander (Alex) Williams, a Drexel University iSchool graduate student, is serving a six-month internship with Falvey's Academic Integration and Information and Research Assistance teams. Alex is an alum of our Graduate English Program, earning his degree with us in 2011. Now, he is focusing on information services although he is also interested in competitive intelligence. He expects to graduate from Drexel in 2013.

Alex earned his bachelor’s degree in English literature and religious studies from Stonehill College, Easton, Mass. While a student at Stonehill, Alex worked as a circulation aide in the library, an early indication of his future interests.

Click here to read more of Alex's story.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Katie Hynes

Katie has been enjoying her position as a professional tutor at Bergen Community College. Having been a Villanova Writing Center tutor, she has noticed several different challenges at Bergen's writing center than at Villanova's, but the work has been rewarding and enjoyable in its own way.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Message from the Great Beyond (i.e. the PhD): It Gets Better

Hello, my name is Mary Beth Harris, I graduated from the Villanova Masters Program in English Literature in 2011, I am currently pursuing my PhD at Purdue University, and I am a bad listener. As an M.A. student with PhD aspirations, I received a lot of good, thoughtful advice during my time at Villanova. Some of this was hard to hear because it felt like everyone was telling me what a bad idea getting a PhD was. I heard how difficult and competitive doctoral work is, how the job market is an evil no-man’s land designed by the devil himself to crush all hopes and dreams, how tenure is going the way of the dinosaurs, and how even if you are one of the lucky few to get a job that job will only continue to grind your soul into dust. Let me be clear, I am not dismissing the earnestness of this advice, nor the caring spirit in which it was offered. Moving on in graduate school is a risk, and if you want to take it seriously you need to be fully aware of these risks. More importantly, once I was committed to applying, the Villanova faculty made it part of their mission to help me get in. Graduate school is hard, choosing scholarship as a career path is a risk, BUT I am here to tell you that it can get better and that I am happy with my stubborn decision to let some of that good advice go in one ear and out of the other.

I am currently a second year PhD student at Purdue University, finishing up my course work. I love being a PhD student. I feel excited and energized by my work, and I am finally making that transition from thinking of myself as a professional student to thinking of myself as a developing scholar. I would be lying if I told you doctoral work was all sunshine, roses, and frolicking through libraries in a warm haze, but I have found a kind of satisfaction and even joy in the unique work I do as a graduate student.

Part of finding a positive experience in a PhD program is about finding a program that is a good fit for you. I feel supported and engaged at Purdue. However, feeling good about your PhD work is also about being scholastically prepared for work at that level, which is something Villanova gave me. The course work at Villanova is very similar to my work here at Purdue, and my Masters work helped me make that (often awkward) transition from being an undergraduate to a graduate student (I think of it as going through academic puberty). Furthermore, if there was one thing that pushed me into turning that corner, that really prepared me to move forward with my academic work, it was writing the thesis. The thesis option at Villanova is a luxury (a seemingly frightening one, but a luxury none the less). Very rarely, no matter what you end up doing after your M.A., will you ever have the opportunity to just focus on your work, your ideas, for a whole semester. The thesis is daunting, and it is possible to get a bit lost in the process. I certainly got lost in the early stages of mine, but this process was an important one for me and my writing. Working on a sustained research project, having to articulate it in a proposal, having to research widely in your field, and having to draft and redraft longer pieces of writing, are all skills you need to have to continue on in this field. The thesis project is a way to figure out and develop these skills. I am a different writer, thinker, researcher, and all-around scholar because I wrote the thesis, and I am glad for it. I wouldn’t feel as confident or successful in my PhD program if I hadn’t taken it on.